Archive for December, 2009


This year is going out and the New Year will soon be ushered in. The present year is gone old. Let it depart. You need not worry. It had been kind to all of us as Allah willed it so. Thank you Allah for this.

The sense of anticipation and resolve with which we greet every New Year, is even more acute this time. That is because now we are also celebrating the start of a new decade. A new decade has began guys.

And what a way to start of this new year when we hear that the Herald is free to use the word ‘ALLAH’.The High Court declared today that the Home Minister’s order banning the use of the term was illegal, null and void; the term is not exclusive to any religion.

Justice has prevailed and the independence of the judiciary is restored and the rule of law upheld. Wisdom has finally prevailed, I hope in Malaysia from today. This victory is for all Malaysians who cherish harmony, freedom, peace, and hope.

And this year my new year resolution is just to be myself.

Would be in Penang next week guys. Missing all of you already.

Happy New Year everyone, and God Bless

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Hi everyone,

Wherever you are and whatever you’re doing, I wish you a Merry Christmas and thank you so much for all your continued support and kind wishes, it really does mean the world to me.

I’m just glad this year that certain mentally unbalanced UMNO fellow decided not to go on a racial bashing spree in the UMNO Assembly.

Merry Christmas, and let’s clean out the trash in the Barisan National in 2010.

Anyway, I hope everyone has a great holiday with their family! Don’t drink and drive for heaven’s sake!

Love and Peace…/Selva


If you are feeling down in the dumps? The answer is : get a hug. Says a new Canadian study.

After analysing data from the 2007 Canadian Community Health Survey, researchers found that people who get hugs regularly are more likely to report better mental health.

According to the study, for people who either benefit from affection or lack it, there are substantial differences in their mental behavior, mental growth and mental development.

The Globe and Mail had quoted Jack Jedwab the executive director of the Montreal-based Association of Canadians Studies. According to Jedwab, the study’s findings make sense because affection has a clear link to being part of a healthy, loving community.

So guys, lets start hugging as hugging has no unpleasant side effects and is all natural. Jokes aside guys, remember, enough studies have been conducted to conclusively prove that human touch heals and increases one’s life span. Not only that, we also know that human touch is also essential for human growth and development.

Anyway, hugging is healthy, for the body and the soul. Hugging reaches inside and touches our soul.The world may heal a bit if hugging increases, so do your bit guys. Get your body into action and start hugging guys.

And remember the famous hug of death by Najib Tun Razak? Najib became Prime Minister after this hug of death he gave our Pak Lah.


Golfing great Tiger Woods has taken a break from the sport after he admitted to ‘infidelity’.

Websites are raking in millions over Woods’ scandal

It’s a business worth millions of dollars that some internet entrepreneurs are eyeing by sale of websites dedicated to the Tiger Woods scandal, even as the disgraced golfer himself has lost millions in earnings to his ‘infidelity’.


Dozens of websites have cropped up in the past few days and put on sale for prices as high as 21 million dollars to cash in on the scandal involving the former ‘God of Golf’ and his mistresses.

These include TigersHarem.com, one of the most expensive so far, TigerGotWood.com, TigersLitter.com, TigerTexts.com, TigerLies.com, TigerWoodsLies.com and 2TimingTiger.com, which are currently on sale at leading online marketplace eBay.

Around 20 such website addresses are currently on sale for a price totalling to over 100 million dollars – an amount nearing the golfer’s annual income from his endorsements and tournaments.

However, Woods is set to lose all these earnings as he has announced a hiatus from his professional golf career and is being dropped from the endorsements as well. Companies like Accenture and Gillette, for who Woods was the star campaigner and brand ambassador, have already dropped him.

In October itself, business magazine Forbes, which is known for its rich list rankings, said that Woods has become the world’s first athlete to cross career earnings of one billion dollars and his annul income from endorsements and gold totals more than 100 million dollars.


This is Raja Petra’s 2010 New Year Resolution: Voter-get-voter campaign.
Raja Petra wants us to make this our New Year Resolution as well.

Come 1st January 2010, we must make sure we get at least one person to register as a voter — if we can get more than one to register, even better. Just through our efforts alone we can get at least half those not yet registered to vote to become registered voters.

The game plan should be:

1. Get them to register as voters.

2. Get them to come out to vote on Polling Day.

3. Who they vote for is of course their business and their constitutional right — but guide them on what they should look for when deciding whom to vote for.

Ultimately, we can only convince them to register as voters and to come out to vote. It is still up to them who they want to vote for. The crucial job thereafter is to turn all these registered voters into INFORMED VOTERS so that when they go to the polling station on Polling Day they will know what is the right thing to do.

According to Raja Petra, Pakatan Rakyat needed only 300,000 more votes to form the federal government in the last March general election. If Pakayat Rakyat had garnered those extra 300,000 votes it would have easily won 112 parliament seats versus Barisan Nasional’s 110 instead of only 82 versus Barisan Nasional’s 130.

So guys, lets get going, lets get this VOTER-GET-VOTER campaign going for 2010.

See here


Ku Li today painted a bleak future for Malaysia under the Barisan Nasional government, saying it had squandered the nation’s oil wealth to the tune of billions of ringgit.

The former Finance Minister said Petronas’s oil profits had been used “to bail out failing companies, buy arms, build grandiose cities amidst cleared palm oil estates.” “Instead of helping eradicate poverty in the poorest states, our oil wealth came to be channeled into our political and politically-linked class,” the first Petronas chief and former Umno vice president said in a speech at the Young Corporate Malaysians Summit.

He said Petronas money had been used as a slush fund to prop up authoritarian rule, to corrupt the entire political and business elite and to erode constitutional democracy.

The Gua Musang MP told the conference that Petronas had contributed 40 percent to the national budget over the years. But such a great reliance on oil income was getting untenable, he said. “The oil that was meant to spur our transition to a more humane, educated society has instead become a narcotic that provides economic quick fixes and hollow symbols such as the Petronas Towers.”

Ku Li said the future for Malaysians looks bleak with the government seeking to broaden the tax base by introducing a goods and services tax (GST), requiring Malaysians to pay an additional tax on top of income tax. Malaysia is now caught in a middle-income trap, stuck in the pattern of easy growth from low-value-added manufacturing and component assembly and unable to make the leap to a knowledge-intensive economy, Tengku Razaleigh added.

Following is the text of his speech: In a speech I made in April this year, I spoke of where we stand in our developmental path and what I felt we must do to move forward. I need to revisit that argument in order to develop it further.

We are stagnating. The signs of a low-growth economy are all around us. Wages are stagnant and the cost of living is rising. We have not made much progress in becoming a knowledge and services based economy.

According to the World Bank, Malaysia’s share of GDP contributed by services was 46.2 percent in 1987. Ten years later, that share had grown by a mere 0.2 percent. Between 1994 and 2007, real wages grew by 2.6 percent in the domestic sector and by 2.8 percent in the export sector, which is to say, they were flat over that 13-year period.

Meanwhile, our talent scenario is an example of perverse selection at its most ruinous. We are failing to retain our own young talent, people like yourselves, let alone attract international talent to relocate here, while we have had a massive influx of unskilled foreign labour. They now make up 30 to 40 percent of our workforce.

Alone in East Asia, the number of expatriate professionals here has decreased. Alone in East Asia, private sector wage increases follow government sector increases, instead of the other way around. We are losing doctors and scientists and have become Southeast Asia’s haven for low-cost labour. I said that we are in a middle-income trap, stuck in the pattern of easy growth from low-value-added manufacturing and component assembly and unable to make the leap to a knowledge-intensive economy. Regional competitors with larger, cheaper – and dare I say – hungrier labour forces have emerged. China and India have risen as both lower cost and higher technology producers, and with giant domestic markets.

The manufacturing sector which propelled the growth we enjoyed in the 90s is being hollowed out. There is no going back, there is no staying where we are, and we do not have a map for the way forward. I am glad that the characterisation of Malaysia as being in a ‘middle-income-trap’ has been taken up by the government, and that the need for an economic story, or strategy, for Malaysia is now recognised. We stand in particular need of such a model because we are a smallish economy.

We cannot be good at everything, and we don’t have to be. We need only make some reasonable bets in identifying and developing a focused set of growth drivers. It is not difficult to see what the elements of such a growth strategy might be.

Whatever we come up with should build on our natural strengths, and our strengths include the following:

+ We are located at the crossroads of Asia, geographically and culturally, sitting alongside the most important oil route in the world.

+ We have large Muslim, Chinese and Indian populations that connect us to the three fastest growing places in the world today.

+ We have some of the largest and oldest rainforests in the world, a treasure house of bio-diversity when the greatest threat facing mankind as a whole now is ecological destruction, and the greatest technological advances are likely to come from bioscience.

+ We have the English language, a common law system, parliamentary democracy, good schools, an independent civil service and good infrastructure.

These advantages, however, are declining. Our cultural diversity is in danger of coming apart in bigotry, our rainforests are being logged out and planted over, our social and political institutions are decaying.

I have spoken at length on different occasions about the causes and consequences of institutional decline. The decline in our society, and indeed in our natural environment, originates in a decline in our basic institutions. The link between these is corruption.

The destruction of our ecosystem, for example, is made possible by corrupt officials and business people.

The uncontrolled influx of unskilled labour is a direct result of corruption. These are problems we need to be aware of before we speak glibly about coming up with new strategies and new economic models. We need to understand where we are, and how we have gone wrong, before we can set things right.

You are young, well-educated Malaysians. Many among you have left for other shores. Record numbers of Malaysians, of all races, work abroad or have emigrated. Among these are some of our best people. They sense the stagnation I described. There is a certain lack of energy, ingenuity and “hunger” in the climate of this country that young people are most sensitive to. In the globalised job market, young people instinctively leave the less simulating and creative environments for those that have a spark to them.

How did we lose our spark as a nation? We have a political economy marked by dependence on easy options and easy wealth. Like personal dependencies, these bad habits provide temporary comfort but discourage the growth of creativity and resilience.

I mentioned our dependence on low-cost foreign labour. The other dependence is something I played a part in making possible.

This is a story I want to leave with you to ponder in your deliberations today.

Our nation is blessed with a modest quantity of oil reserves. As a young nation coming to terms with this natural bounty in the early 70s, our primary thought was to conserve that oil.

That is why, when Petronas was formed, we instituted the Petroleum Development Council. Its function was to advise the prime minister on how to conserve that oil and use it judiciously for national development.

We knew our reserves would not last long. We saw our oil reserves as an unearned bounty that would provide the money for modernisation and technology. We saw our oil within a developmental perspective.

Our struggle then was to make the leap from an economy based on commodities and low-cost assembly and manufacturing to a more diverse economy based on high income jobs. Aware that we had an insufficient tax base to make the capital investments needed to make the leap, we planned to apply oil royalties to what you would call today strategic investments in human capital.

Whatever money left after making cash payments, allocations for development funds, etc, was to be placed in a Heritage Fund for the future.

The Heritage Fund was for education and social enrichment. In working out the distribution of oil between the states, who had sovereign rights over it, and the federal government, we were guided by concerns for equity between all Malaysians, a concern to develop the poorer states (who also happened to be the oil rich states) and a concern for inter-generational equity. That oil was for special development purposes and it was not just meant for our generation.

Sabah and Sarawak joined Malaya to form Malaysia because of the promise of development funds.

Yet today, despite their massive resources, they are some of our poorest states.

Instead of being our ace up the sleeve, however, our oil wealth became in effect a swag of money used to fund the government’s operational expenditure, to bail out failing companies, buy arms, build grandiose cities amidst cleared palm oil estates.

Instead of helping eradicate poverty in the poorest states, our oil wealth came to be channeled into the overseas bank accounts of our political and politically-linked class.

Instead of being the patrimony of all Malaysians, and for our children, it is used as a giant slush fund that has propped up authoritarian rule, eroded constitutional democracy and corrupted our entire political and business elite.

Our oil receipts, instead of being applied in the manner we planned upon the formation of Petronas, that is, according to its original developmental purpose, became a fund for the whims and fancy of whoever ran the country, without any accountability. The oil that was meant to spur our transition to a more humane, educated society has instead become a narcotic that provides economic quick fixes and hollow symbols such as the Petronas towers.

Our oil wealth was meant to help us foster Malaysians capable of building the Twin Towers than hire foreigners to build them, a practice in which we preceded Dubai. I would rather have good government than grand government buildings filled with a demoralised civil service.

It is no wonder that we are no longer productive, no longer using our ingenuity to devise ways to improve ourselves and leap forward. Malaysia is now an “oil cursed” country. We managed to arrive at this despite not having a lot of oil.

When I started Petronas in 1974, I did not realise I would see the day when I would wish we had not uncovered this bounty.

The story I have told is a reminder of the scale of the challenge of development. My generation of young people faced this challenge in the 60s and 70s. You face it now. The story tells us that development is about far more than picking strategies out of a box. You have kindly invited me to address a seminar on strategies for reinventing and liberalising Malaysia’s economy. But the story of our squandered oil wealth reminds us that it was not for want of resources or strategies that we floundered.

Our failure has been political and moral.

We have allowed greed and resentment to drive our politics and looked the other way or even gone along while public assets have been stolen in broad daylight. I encourage you to take up the cause of national development with the ingenuity that earlier generations of Malaysians brought to this task, but the beginning of our journey must be a return to the basics of public life: the rule of law, honesty, truth-telling and the keeping of promises.

The Malaysia we need to recover is one that was founded on laws and led with integrity.

With the hindsight of history we know such things are fragile and can be overturned in one generation, forgotten the next. Without a living foundation in the basics, you might sense an air of unreality around our talk of reinventing ourselves, coming up with “a new economic model” and liberalising our economy. So before we can reinvent ourselves, we need to reclaim our nation.

That larger community, bound by laws, democratic and constitutional, is the context of economic progress, it is the context in which young people find hope, think generous thoughts and create tomorrow.